HC Deb 21 February 1922 vol 150 cc1747-8W
Lieut.-Colonel Sir F. HALL

asked the Prime Minister (on Monday, 20th February), what were the conditions upon which the Allied Conference decided to ask Russia to take part in the Genoa discussions, and whether these conditions have been accepted by the Soviet Government?


has now furnished the following particulars: The Supreme Council agreed at its meeting, held at 11 a.m. on Friday, the 6th January, 1922, to accept in principle the Draft Resolution proposed by Mr. Lloyd George in regard to an Economic Conference. The Resolution was considered in detail at a further meeting of the Supreme Council held the same clay at 3.30 p.m., and was finally approved as follows: The Allied Powers in conference are unanimously of opinion that an Economic and Financial Conference should be summoned in February or early March, to which all the Powers of Europe, including Germany, Russia, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria, should be invited to send representatives. They regard such a Conference as an urgent and essential step towards the economic reconstruction of Central and Eastern Europe, and they are strongly of opinion that the Prime Ministers of every nation should, if possible, attend it in person in order that action may be taken as promptly as possible upon its recommendations. The Allied Powers consider that the resumption of international trade throughout Europe and the development of the resources of all countries are necessary to increase the volume of productive employment and to relieve the widespread suffering of the European peoples. A united effort by the stronger Powers is necessary to remedy the paralysis of the European system. This effort must include the removal of all obstacles in the way of trade, the provision of substantial credits for the weaker countries and the co-operation of all nations in the restoration of normal prosperity. The Allied Powers consider that the fundamental conditions upon which alone-this effort can be made with hope of success may be broadly stated as follows:

  1. "1 Nations can claim no right to dictate to each other regarding the principles on which they are to regulate their system of ownership, internal economy and government. It is for every nation to choose for itself the system which it prefers in this respect.
  2. "2 Before, however, foreign capital can be made available to assist a country, foreign investors must be assured that their property and their rights will be respected and the fruits of their enterprise secured to them.
  3. "(3)The sense of security cannot be reestablished unless the Governments of countries desiring foreign credit freely undertake—
    1. "(a.) That they will recognise all public debts and obligations which have been or may be undertaken or guaranteed by the State, by municipalities, or by other- public bodies, as well as the obligation to restore or compensate all foreign interests for loss or damage caused to them when property has been confiscated or withheld.
    2. "(b.) That they will establish a legal and juridical system which sanctions and enforces commercial and other contracts with impartiality.
  4. "4. An adequate means of exchange must be available, and, generally, there must be financial and currency conditions which offer sufficient security for trade.
  5. "5. All nations should undertake to refrain from propaganda subversive of order and the established political system in other countries than their own.
  6. "6. All countries should join in an undertaking to refrain from aggression against their neighbours.
If, in order to secure the conditions necessary for the development of the trade in Russia, the Russian Government demands official recognition, the Allied Powers will be prepared to accord such recognition only if the Russian Government accepts the foregoing stipulations.